The flavors of Northern Spain come to life in this gastronomical voyage through Basque Country and La Rioja. Relish San Sebastian’s famed Michelin-starred restaurants while learning the art of traditional Basque cooking at an acclaimed culinary institute. Delight in the vibrant spirit of the region’s cider houses before making your way to Rioja’s lush wine country where you’ll be enchanted by its legendary wine producers.
Northern Spain Culinary Route
Sample 6-Day Private Tour Itinerary
San Sebastian, Villabuena de Alava, Rioja Wine Country, Haro, Elciego
Your culinary expedition through Basque Country will begin in the vibrant coastal city of San Sebastian. Be greeted at Bilbao airport by your private chauffeur and be transported to your four-star Historical Heritage Hotel located near San Sebastian’s city center. After settling in, partake in a private pintxos walking tour with a local food expert stopping to savor typical Basque small plates at the city’s best eateries paired with regional Txakoli wine.
In the late morning depart via private chauffeur to visit an artisanal cheese farm that produces the noted Idiazabal sheep’s milk cheese. After an exclusive sampling depart for a lively lunch at a typical sagardotegi (cider house) in San Sebastian’s countryside. Return to San Sebastian in the afternoon to take in the city’s intriguing sites and coastal promenade at your own pace.
Enjoy a free morning and early afternoon to explore San Sebastian at your leisure. Take time to enjoy its ancient Parte Vieja or partake in Spanish beach life at nearby Zurriola beach. In the afternoon, enjoy a cooking class at a noted culinary school where you will end your study of Northern Spanish cuisine with an exclusive dining experience.
Leave the quaint coastal seaside of San Sebastian via chauffeur for the bold wine country of Rioja Alavesa. Along the way stop for a lunch of typical Rioja Alavesa specialties in the quaint setting of a typical countryside house. After lunch, arrive at your four-star luxurious design hotel and settle-in while admiring its sweeping views of the area’s quaint countryside. In the evening enjoy a delicious dinner in your hotel’s noted restaurant paired with white Rioja made from the local Viura grape.
Begin your day of wine tasting at one of Rioja’s most storied 3rd generation wineries in the center of Haro known for its strict adherence to old world wine techniques resulting in high quality Riojas and Gran Reserva white wines. Sample the family’s small batch wines while tasting local charcuterie and cheeses. After your tasting your chauffeur will transport you to the town of Elciego where you will visit the Frank Gehry designed bodega of famed producer Marques de Riscal. Savor a special vintner’s tasting then end your day with an elegant dinner at the estate’s prestigious Michelin starred restaurant.
Depart Rioja Wine Country for your return flight home or the next leg of your trip.- As part of our Enriched Booking process your customized itinerary will be designed with the assistance of a CountryBred specialist. - This trip can be specifically tailored for organizations, associations and corporate incentives.
The recommended tour length for this sample itinerary is 6 days/5 nights with pricing options beginning at $3,850/person based on double occupancy. Please note that the “Share Bred With Friends” preferred pricing program will be applied to travel parties of four or more.
The final price of your custom tour will be determined by your travel party size, departure dates, trip length, amount of meals included, percentage of guided time requested, cities chosen in your itinerary and signature CountryBred excursions selected. This sample itinerary can also be crafted for solo travelers.
Included in this sample CountryBred Encounter are:
- 5 Nights at CountryBred approved, four-star boutique accommodations
- Deluxe and/or Superior room stays
- Private luxury chauffeur for all intercity travel, day trips and excursions
- Airport / Train station transfers with baggage assistance
- Private touring with professionally licensed local guides and culinary experts
- Cooking lesson at culinary institute
- Flexible guided time with local experts based upon your preference
- 4 Gourmand dinners
- 2 Regionally authentic lunches
- Exclusive winery visits and tastings
- Daily breakfasts
- Museum tickets & entrance fees
- All gratuities & taxes
- Traveler welcome package including customized Culture Guide
- Please note that transfers to airports other than Bilbao or San Sebastian Airport for arrival/departure, are available upon request for an additional, supplemental fee. Airfare is not included.
Featured Deluxe Hotels
Built in the late 19th century, Villa Soro is a charming landmark accommodation located near the heart of San Sebastian, and honored as a Historical Heritage Building of the city. Encircled by a lush park of gardens and large shade trees, the villa is a spacious retreat for travelers wanting to experience the exquisite seaside splendor of San Sebastian within the classic charm of a turn-of-the-century villa. A careful renovation of the villa has resulted in a luxury, four-star accommodation where every detail is attended to with the greatest of care. Traditional touches like an original 19th century oak paneled bar, hardwood floors, fireplaces, antique furnishings, a grandiose staircase and opulent fixtures in the common areas compliment the 25 guestrooms that are all distinctively decorated with a flair for the sophisticated and eclectic and featuring the works of local contemporary artists.
Whimsical, avant-garde and utterly fantastic, Hotel Viura encapsulates the creative spirit and ingenuity of one of the world’s most celebrated wine producing regions, Rioja Alavesa. A seemingly never-ending network of earth-tone cubes rising from a sea of red tile roofs, Hotel Viura is a beacon of modernity amidst the nostalgic expanses of a traditional Spanish campo. From exaggerated plate glass windows, French doors and grid-like terraces and balconies, the breathtaking vineyard laden hills of Rioja, the rugged Sierra de Cantabria mountains and the neighboring 16th century San Andrés Church can be spied from every angle, allowing guests to marvel at the scenic majesty that abounds.
Encounter Something Unexpected
Experiential travel takes time, passion and local ingredients to make something truly special. When you travel with CountryBred, you can look forward to the following:
- A personalized and private travel experience, whether you’re a solo voyager, a couple, group of friends, family or an organization
- A well crafted itinerary that is a reflection of your cultural interests, which we bring to life through our unparalleled insider knowledge, local access and dedicated team
- A thoughtful travel pace that leads you down roads less traveled while leaving time to enjoy the quiet moments that make for remarkable memories
- Enriching activities that immerse you in local culture and traditions
- Premium accommodations that are distinct reflections of the regions they reside in, with real histories and real people behind them
- Regional ambassadors and local cultural experts that go beyond educating, to invite you into their community and introduce you to their unique corner of the world.
- Authentic dining that ensures you enjoy the finest in regional culinary traditions from quaint family owned eateries to innovative Michelin-starred restaurants. Each meal is in itself a work of art, passionately prepared and uniquely local.
Authentic is Premium